Annual Agate Festival in Yachats this weekend


Jan. 19, 2019 — The picturesque coastal town of Yachats, Oregon is gearing up for its “Eighth Ever” Agate Festival, to be held Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 19 and 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the weekend of the Martin Luther King three-day holiday.

The event is free.

Dubbed the “Gem of the Oregon Coast,” Yachats is internationally known for its natural beauty, including the treasures uncovered by winter storms and winds, making January a prime time for agate hunting. Vendors from throughout the state as well as from Washington and Northern California will be on hand to display and sell rough specimens and finished artistic creations of minerals, gems, crystals and fossils.

The show will take place at the Yachats Commons, located at Highway 101 and West Fourth St. in the heart of town. In addition, there will be speakers, demonstrations and fun things to do for all ages. 

Today, Jan. 19 at 11 a.m., the featured speaker will be Marli Miller, a geological sciences faculty member at the University of Oregon since 1997. She is a geologist, photographer and author of the new second edition of Roadside Geology of Oregon. Her work showcases the state’s splendor while also helping enthusiasts understand geologic processes at work. She will be available to sign her book at the Agate Festival. 

At 1:30 p.m., Cameron Rauenhorst (also known as Captain Clameron because of his knowledge of clam dig-ging in this area) will speak about the variety of treasures that can be found on local beaches. Rauenhorst has been an enthusiast of beach rock-hounding for many years. He has been a part-time Oregon Park Ranger and has given many talks for kids of all ages on what you can discover on the beach — agates and much more.

The speaker on Sunday, Jan. 20, at 11 a.m., will be K. Myers, who has served as the Yachats Agate Festival’s “Rock Doc” for a number of years. Myers is the author of Agates of the Oregon Coast, a handy guide to finding agates, jaspers and other natural treasures on the Oregon Coast. 

Other attractions will include demonstrations in the art of making cabochons and the age-old art of flint knapping. 

Once again, the Yachats Area Presbyterian Church, also known as the “church of the agate windows,” will offer access to the sanctuary where the six large agate panels are displayed for easy viewing. A volunteer will be available at the church from 1 to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20.   

The festival will be offering three separate drawings for valuable baskets of fine prizes from many local merchants.  This year all proceeds from the raffle will be donated to Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (SAR), which provides a well-trained and equipped professional team of volunteers who are prepared to respond rapidly, effectively, and safely to serve as an additional resource in the search and rescue of lost, missing, and overdue persons.

Currently there are 28 trained volunteers in the non-profit organization. 

Since the festival began in 2012 the January event has been a big success, drawing visitors from throughout the northwest and beyond. Merchants, restaurants and lodging providers enjoy participating in the weekend activities.

More information may be obtained by visiting the Yachats Agate Festival Facebook page, the festival’s website at www.yachatsagatefestival.com, or by contacting the Yachats Visitor Center at 800-929-0477.